What's in your pocket?

There are 2 fun things to explore at jaszakschatten. One is a lovely set of free e-cards to choose from.

Here is the e-card we made.

The other is their ongoing project to curate the contents of everybody's pockets. Send a picture to info at jaszakschatten dot nl to be a part of it all.

This is a book I designed last year which is also about curating pockets, in this case the pockets of a little girl over the course of a year: Bella's Pockets.

Sunday honey

After the Easter eggs have all been dyed and hunted, you might be looking for something to do? If you have any food colouring left, you might make "Colored Honey" from the Pooh Cook Book, a very old, loved and used (as you can see) book from our shelf.

Ingredients: honey and vegetable food colouring.

Only use a tiny bit, especially if you are using red dye, which can add a little bit of flavour if you add too much.You might use a dipped toothpick to transfer the colouring to the honey.

This would be nice on leftover hot cross buns tomorrow morning, don't you think?

Hello Baby

So, we are going to try doing a weekly arts + crafts post. Either a project from us, or a review of a craft book. Friday is a good time to gather up your materials for the weekend. Our production company is called "Little Quick" so you can tell already that we like projects that are little and quick.

Today's post is about a pretty well-known book: Baby Stuff (or the Japanese title is Hello Baby which is a much better title) by Aranzi Aronzo. Now, reviewing a very well-known book has the advantage that you can probably find this in the library or your local bookshop right now and you don't have to wait for it to arrive by post!

The number one thing we like about this team are their biographies:

Mr. Aranzi
Mr. Aranzi has a Mexican father and a Japanese mother. It's been 10 years since he started creative activities in cooperation with Mr. Aronzo. He lives in the U.S.A. and works at a securities firm.

Mr. Aronzo
Mr. Aronzo is a Norwegian Vietnamese-Indian. He lives on the street and travels all over the world. His main occupation is playing the tambourine.


OK, so we tested out Baby Stuff (we both have babies). This book has very clear instructions (so clear, that you can actually follow directions in the Japanese version without being Japanese). It comes with photocopy-able templates. One nice feature is that several of the projects could be easily sewn by hand. Although we both have machines, we like to do things by hand. It's fun. The projects shown here were about 50% machine and 50% by hand.

The other good feature about Baby Stuff is that the projects are actually good projects for babies. So, if you don't have a baby of your own, and you're not sure about these projects as gifts: go for it. We've done 3 projects and they've all been useful. And they are mostly very fast. (For real fast, not the kind of project that promises to be 2 hours but takes you all night.)

Pictured here are two of the projects we tried: Baby Bandana and Lil' Friend. (These are copies of projects in the book.) The only thing we didn't do according to directions is trace the sashiko-like embroidery of the fish from their template with special chalk. You can just lightly draw in your shape with a pencil freehand and stitch over top.

Both these projects are well-used and well-loved. There were originally two Lil' friends and one was passed to an 11-month old, who loved it, too. Something about the size and texture is really baby-pleasing. The bandana bib is a nice way to add texture and colour into your baby's wardrobe.

Review Summary
· Aranzi Aronzo's Baby Stuff
· We liked it!
· Mostly projects for adults to make for babies. (Children could try some of these patterns with felt, glue, needle and thread, but the end project may need some help to be baby-safe.)

cococakes + children's books

cococake made some fantastic mini cupcakes for our Foggy launch. Before ordering, we were looking at cococake's web site, which got us onto her (that is, Lyndsay Sung's) blog with its addictive gallery of cute cakes. We chose some simple mini cupcakes with flags and sprinkles. But! As we were looking we saw these children's book themed cakes for Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

I've been having trouble sleeping, thinking of the cupcake possibilities for a big birthday coming up this summer.